Uber denies using stolen trade secrets

Has Uber Become the New Tech Business Model

Uber Technologies Inc said on Friday its self-driving sensor technology was "fundamentally different" from Waymo's, blasting the Alphabet Inc unit's claim that it profited from stolen files in the race to roll out the first driverless auto.

Waymo alleges a former manager, Anthony Levandowski, stole its patented ideas before leaving Google early last year to found a self-driving auto startup called Otto that Uber bought for $680 million last year.

Uber has claimed that its self-driving technology is unique and distinct from what Alphabet has created. Judge William Alsup on the other hand warned Uber to take action on the case of Levandowski, stating there should be disciplinary action against him if Uber has no intention of using the confidential files he's accused of stealing.

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Once a Google ally, Uber emerged as a rival in the self-driving auto market in early 2015 when it began developing its own fleet of autonomous vehicles.

"Right now the record available to the court under oath is pretty convincing that Mr. Levandowski downloaded 14,000 documents, wiped his computer clean, transferred those documents to a thumb drive and took that thumb drive with him when he went to start a new company".

Levandowski, the central witness in the case, has sought his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and will not testify, over concerns about the possibility of a criminal case being filed. Meanwhile, Uber would be starting its preparation for its defense against the allegations by Waymo on Friday. "You're not denying it, no one is denying he has the 14,000 files", Alsup said.

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Waymo filed suit against Uber in February, claiming that a former manager, Anthony Levandowski, stole its patented ideas.

Boehmke worked alongside engineers who came from Tyto Lidar LLC, a company that joined Uber with Levandowski. "Uber is the defendant in this case, and Uber is responsible for its own misconduct". If a judge rules in Waymo's favor, Uber would have to stop using anything that Waymo included in a list of trade secrets.

What's more, Uber says its custom-designed LiDAR system hasn't even been installed on the self-driving cars that it has been testing in Pittsburgh, Arizona and San Francisco. Uber said it's Fuji lidar design has four lenses - two for transmitting light and two for receiving, while Waymo's lidar has a single shared lens that both sends and receives light.

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"Frankly, we obviously have a conflict here", Uber's attorney Arturo Gonzalez said to Judge Aslup during a closed-door hearing last week.

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